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2/27/2017

We Have The Answers To Common Tax Questions

Even though we’ve been filing and paying our taxes for years they can still be a source of major confusion. With a variety of different laws and changes that get made on an annual basis, it can be difficult to keep up with everything. However, taxes shouldn’t be avoided just because they come with unknowns! That’s why we’re tax experts here at ExpressExtension, and have the answers to commonly asked tax questions.

Common Tax Questions


1. Will I get a tax Refund?


Unfortunately, the answer to this question is maybe. As you work throughout the year your employer takes withholdings out of your paychecks, which isn’t very fun. These withholdings are an estimate on how much money you’ll owe in taxes.

If too much money was taken out you’ll receive a refund from the IRS. However, if not enough money was withheld then you’ll send the IRS a check.

A lot can change in a year, so just because you received a refund last year doesn’t mean you’ll get one this year. For example, you could default on a loan, have a child to add as a dependent, get a better job and move into a higher tax bracket, and more.

2. Can I claim my kids as dependents?


Good news, yes you can! The government recognizes that the costs of raising children are high, so they want to help you out by giving you a tax break for them. However, your kids do have to qualify as dependents.

To count as dependents your kids must be 19 or under, unless they’re a student, then they can be 24 or under. Your kids also need to live with you for more than half the year, but exceptions apply. If you’re divorced and your ex-partner also claims your child as a dependent then certain rules apply.

Your child can have a job, but their income must total less than half of their financial support for you to claim them.

Children do not have to qualify as a dependent. They can be nieces, nephews, adopted, etc. Any child that you take care of as long as they meet the other qualification standards.

3. Who Can I Claim As A Dependent?


You can actually claim more than just your children on your tax return. Parents, partners, relatives, whoever you take care of financially can be claimed as dependents as long as they qualify.

To qualify they must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or resident alien. They can be married, but you can’t claim them if they’ve filed a joint tax return unless it’s for a tax return. Also, they have to make less than $4,050 for their annual income.

Also, the person can’t be a qualifying dependent for someone else, and the person either has to be related to you or they must live with you for at least a year.

4. What Happens If I Can’t Pay My Taxes?


If you can’t pay your taxes don’t ignore them. The penalties and fees for not paying them aren’t fun to deal with at all and they collect interest over time.

You can get an installment plan from the IRS. That’s basically a loan with an agreed upon amount that you pay to the IRS on a monthly basis until you pay off the amount you owe. However, the interest rates on installment plans can be pretty steep. It might end up being cheaper to use credit cards because they have lower interest rates.

Contact your accountant or a local tax professional to discover your best payment option. Also, you can contact the IRS directly for an installment plan. They’ll be more than happy to walk you through the process.

5. Can I Get A Tax Extension?


Yes! If you need a little more time to file you can file an extension. Some extensions are automatic, meaning you don’t have to provide the IRS with a reason for needing an extension. If the extension isn’t automatic then you have to give the IRS a valid reason for needing one.

Also, extensions only give you more time to file your taxes, not more time to pay them, so please remember to pay your tax bill on time!

Filing an extension is easy. Simply create a free ExpressExtension account and click the form that you need. We provide helpful instructions that will guide you through the filing process in order to have your extension filed in a matter of minutes!

Plus, ExpressExtension provides outstanding support. Please don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat, phone, or email with any questions that you may have.
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2/23/2017

E-Filing An Extension For Corporate Or Partnership Taxes


Ah, spring is near. The days are growing longer and the air is starting to fill with the sweet scent of blooming flowers and fresh dew on the grass. However, this relaxing picture is often ruined if you listen closely and hear someone panicking in the distance because another thing that comes with the spring weather is tax time.

The deadlines for your business income tax returns are approaching, so if you need more time to file use ExpressExtension to quickly and easily fill out business tax extension Form 7004.

Form 7004


Business Tax Extension Form 7004 is used when businesses need more time to file their income taxes. By correctly filling out the form by the dead they will be granted an automatic 7-month extension on the time they have to file.

Since the extension is automatic they don’t have to provide the IRS with a valid reason for needing an extension.

It’s important to remember that the extension is only for the amount of time you have to file your taxes, you still have to pay the estimated amount that you owe to the IRS by the deadline.

The estimated amount you owe or the tentative tax must be as accurate as possible. You can base your tentative tax off of the amount you owed last year or contact a tax professional or CPA to calculate it.

Now some states don’t even have income taxes, so if you’re in:

Alaska
Florida
Nevada
South Dakota
Texas
Washington
Wyoming
New Hampshire

Don’t worry about completing this extension form in time...or at all.

Now the deadlines for business income tax returns are different based off of what type of business you have.

For example, partnerships or multiple member LLC’s need to have their Form 7004 or business tax return completed by March 15th. The old deadline used to be April 15th, so please be aware of the change!

Corporations need to pay their taxes and either file form 7004 or their income taxes by the 15th day of the 4th month at the end of the company's fiscal or financial year. Most corporations have their fiscal year end on December 31st, so their deadline is April 15th.

The tax deadline for S-Corporations is due on March 15th.

Now that you know when the business tax deadlines are due you know when to file your Extension Form 7004 by.

E-Filing With ExpressExtension


ExpressExtension takes the headache out of filing by providing quality service and step by step instructions on how to fill out your form. We’ve simplified the process so that it only takes a few minutes to get your extension approved.

Before your file is transmitted to the IRS we run an audit check on it to see if you need to make any corrections. Trust us, it’s better to catch mistakes early so you won’t have to e-file corrections later.

Once you transmit your form you can see the status of it in your dashboard. You’ll be able to see when the IRS accepts and approves your extension. If your form is rejected you’ll be notified via email with instructions on how to make your corrections.

Please, don’t worry if you need to make a correction! ExpressExtension has made this process incredibly simple. All you have to do is log on to your free account and file your correction. This process can be completed in a matter of minutes and you can resubmit your form as many times as necessary for free.

Best of all, we’re here to help. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team via live chat, phone, or email.
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2/20/2017

E-filing Form 8868: Group Returns And Foreign Corporation Details

Taxes can be a little confusing with all of the different rules and protocols put in place. For this reason, sometimes organizations need a little more time to get all of their information together to file, so they can file an extension.

However, the rules must still be followed to correctly fill out your extension form! Luckily, here at ExpressExtension, were extension form experts and can help you quickly e-file the form you need.

Today we’re looking at exempt organization group returns and foreign corporation details when e-filing form 8868

Form 8868 for Group Returns and Foreign Corporations


Now Form 8868 is the exempt organization tax extension form. It’s used by charities, nonprofits, and other tax-exempt groups to get an automatic 6-month extension to file their tax returns.

Because the extension is automatic they do not need to provide the IRS with a valid reason for needing an extension. All they have to do is correctly fill out the form by the due date of their Form 990s.

However, keep in mind that Form 8868 only extends the amount of time that you have to file your return. It does not extend the amount of time you have to pay your tax due. You must pay your tax by the deadline or you’ll be subject to fees, interest, and penalties.

If you’re filing for a group you must make sure that you list on your Form 8868 that you’re filing a group return. This option is available in the list of organization types with ExpressExtension. The extension can be for all of the organizations in your group, or for only some of them.

In the event that your group extension isn’t for every organization in your group then attach a list that includes the names, addresses, EINs or employee identification numbers for all of the organizations included in the extension. Tax-IDs can also be used instead of EINs.

When foreign corporations file Form 8868 then enter they need to enter their address information a little differently. If your address is located outside of the US or US territories where it says ‘city or town, state, and ZIP code’ enter your city, province or state, then country. Then follow your country’s way of entering your postal code. It’s very important that you do not abbreviate your country’s name.

E-Filing With ExpressExtension


ExpressExtension is a safe and secure IRS authorized e-file provider, so your information is protected. Also, ExpressExtension prides themselves in providing outstanding service that takes the headaches out of filing by making the process quick and simple.

Once you choose the form you need to file ExpressExtension provides helpful instructions on how to fill out the form. Then we provide an audit check on your form to scan it for any mistakes before you transmit it to the IRS. This method will prevent you from the hassle of having to make corrections later.

Also, the status of your form will be provided in the dashboard so you can see when your form makes it to the IRS and when it’s approved. This generally happens within minutes of e-filing, unless the season is incredibly busy.

If you form is rejected you’ll receive an email that explains why with instructions on how to make corrections on your form. You can then quickly make the corrections and resubmit your form to the IRS as many times as you need to for free with ExpressExtension.

With ExpressExtension you aren’t alone. Our dedicated support team is always standing by to help. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat, phone, or email.
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2/16/2017

How To E-File Personal Tax Extension Form 4868

Taxes can be confusing, so people put them off until the last possible minute. However, they can’t be avoided forever. Tax deadlines are important, if you don’t file your taxes or pay the amount you owe in time you’ll be subject to penalties, fines, and more, so make sure you’re prepared to file your personal income taxes by April 18th.

Although, if you need a little more time to get your information together before filing spend a few minutes e-filing the personal tax extension form 4868 with ExpressExtension.

How To E-File Form 4868.


First, let’s go over what form 4868 actually is. Personal tax extension form 4868 is used when an individual or joint taxpayers need an extension to file the IRS form 1040, 1040A, 1040-EX, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS.

Form 4868 is an automatic form, meaning you do not have to provide a reason as to why you need an extension. Simply correctly fill out the form and submit it the IRS by April 18th and midnight.

You’ll then automatically receive a 6-month extension and won’t have to file your personal income tax until October 18th. That’s quite an extension!

However, keep in mind that the extension only extends the amount of time you have to file your taxes, your tax bill is still due on April 18th, and you will face penalties and fees for the failure to pay your tax bill by the deadline.

To pay your income tax payment you’ll have to try your best to accurately estimate how much income tax you’ll owe for the year. Your figure can be based on the total you owed last year, but make sure the amount the most accurate estimation you can provide.

Now to file form 4868 simply spend a minute creating an ExpressExtensions account and click “Create Personal Tax Extension” and follow our easy step-by-step instructions.

You’ll begin by entering your personal information such as your name, home address, and social security number. Make sure your information matches what the IRS has, you can do this by contacting the IRS. Also, for joint filing you’ll need your spouse’s correct name and social security number as well.

Then for any monetary values, you’ll need to round them off to the nearest whole dollar and enter in your tax liability. If you don’t owe any tax income liability simply enter in 0.

The next step involves paying your estimated income tax bill that you will need to accurately estimate, as mentioned above. The estimate can be calculated based off of how much money was withheld from your individual paychecks during the year.

You’ll need to calculate the total balance of your unpaid tax for the entire year and this is done by subtracting your income tax bill from your income tax liability. You’ll also have to enter the amount you owe to the Internal Revenue Service.

If you’re out of the country or happen to live outside of the United States and Puerto Rico then check the box at line 8.

Then if you’re filing an extension for forms 1040 and 1040 NR-EZ you’ll check the box at line 9 for your tax returns in mid-June if you don’t receive wages as an employee subject to the U.S. income tax withholding.

If your form is rejected by the IRS we will quickly notify you via email as to why. You can then make corrections to your form and resubmit it to the IRS as many times as necessary.

We’re Here To Help


Our dedicated support team here at ExpressExtension is always standing by to help. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email. We will have your extension filed in a matter of minutes!
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2/13/2017

A Look At How Tax Credits Work

Taxes can be confusing, people just want to avoid them. They have the reputation of being frustrating and time-consuming, so people avoid learning about them, and put off filing them until the last possible minute.

However, there are ways to save tons of money on your tax bills! Spend a few minutes researching your options and learn all about tax credits here to turn your filing process into a celebration instead of a dreaded event.

Tax Credits


To put it simply, a tax credit is a reduction in the amount of income tax that you owe, in a dollar for dollar amount. Tax credits can greatly reduce the amount of money you owe to the federal and state governments, so they’re good to take advantage of.

Tax credits were designed to encourage and reward activities that the government deems to be important. These activities or actions include things that benefit the environment, economy, society, and more.

A few actions that will give you tax credits include installing solar panels, adopting a child, or being a student. The list goes on and on.

Tax credits reduce the amount of tax you owe dollar for dollar. They could reduce your tax bill to zero, however, remember there are different types of tax credits. Nonrefundable tax credits don’t reduce the amount you owe below zero.

Refundable credits can be fully or partial. If they’re fully refundable and the amount you owe decreases below zero then you’ll be paid for that amount. For example, if your bill is $500 and you have $700 in tax credits then you’ll receive a check for $200. Now that makes filing your taxes a little more exciting, doesn’t it?

Now you don’t automatically get tax credits. They generally consist of expenses you pay during the year and you have to meet the specific requirements and file for them on time.

Tax credits usually save people more money than deductions because tax credits are dollar for dollar on the amount you owe. Tax deductions reduce the amount that’s subject to income tax. Also, deductions calculated with percents and depend on tax rates.

Need More Time To File?


If you’re new to tax credits and need to take the time to speak with a professional or research what exactly you can claim as tax credits before you file then head to ExpressExtensions to e-file an extension on your tax forms. Then you’ll have more time to file your taxes later.

The E’s in ExpressExtension stand for easy because we provide the forms you need with step by step instructions on how to fill them out. If the IRS rejects your form we will notify you via email with instructions on how to make your correct. You can then resubmit your form as many time as you need to.

Best of all, we’re here to help. Our dedicated support team is standing by to help you with any questions that you may have, so please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email.
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2/09/2017

Avoid These Popular Tax Scams


You pay your taxes on time, you file them on time. Everything is done perfectly according to the regulations set in place by the government and IRS, so you can rest easy and wait for your return right? Wrong! Millions of innocent taxpayers fall subject to scams every year! Be sure to learn about popular scams, signs of fraud to look out for so you won’t give your money to the wrong person.

Tax Scams To Watch Out For


Watch out for people filing for returns under your social security number. Since the IRS only allocates one return per SSN things can get tricky if a criminal gets ahold of yours. Then when you go to file your return you’ll have to prove that you’re you, which can actually be tricky then go through a lengthy battle that lasts months in order to get your correct return and all of the paperwork sorted out.

Luckily the IRS is trying to stop this problem and will now flag returns if they list a different employer and different address than yours. This will hopefully cut down on the number of returns given to the wrong people.

Also, keep your SNN safe and secure, don’t share it with just anyone. Always ask why a person needs it, and make sure the business like a credit card company is legit.

Be aware of phishing email scams. It’s extremely popular for people to make fake IRS email’s with interesting subject messages like, “We Need This Information For Your Instant Return”. Then the emails prompt people for their SSN and personal information to steal it.

Sometimes the emails contain links to click on or attachments to download that are full of viruses and malware that could totally wreck your computer, so do not click them, no matter how official the email looks.

The IRS never contacts via email and especially never sends them something to click on or download. So, you don’t even have to open the email, just delete it.

TAP or the Tax Advocacy Panel is being used as a front for fake emails. Remember, TAP never will request money, and never will have access to your personal information.

Just when you think your phone is safe, you could get a phishing text message. Which is ridiculous, the IRS will never ask for your SSN via text.

Speaking of phones, fake ‘IRS representatives’ will call you and demand money. They’ll say that you owe a certain amount on your tax bill and claim that you’ll be arrested immediately if you don’t pay.

If This happens just hang up. The IRS will never demand money or claim that you owe money without sending you a paper bill first. They will also give you time to question or appeal the amount.

Also, IRS agents aren’t aggressive. They won’t come after you with threats. Other red flags to note are payment methods. Scammers ask for untraceable forms of payments like through gift cards, cash, wire transfers, or even Itunes cards.

You should also watch out for charities asking you for money. The charity could be totally fake. Contributions to charities are deductible, and it’s good to give so instead of avoiding charities all together use the Exempt Organizations Select Check Tool to see if the organization is legitimate or not.

Sometimes regular people pose as tax preparers to steal your information. They usually have inflated tax rates and credits, and often have your return go to their account. Now, why would your return go to their account?! To find a legitimate tax preparer ask for references and google reviews about the person. Also, use the Tax Return Preparer Directory to find a legitimate tax preparer near you.

Students, have you paid your Federal Student Tax yet? No, you haven’t? Good, it’s made up. It’s a huge scam that the cruel use to commit tax fraud!

ExpressExtensions is Here To Help


Where tax professionals, so you don’t have to be. If you need a little more time to file and get your tax information together we have the correct form for you and provide step by step instructions for you to quickly and easily fill it out. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team via phone or email.
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2/06/2017

Your Available Home Office Tax Deductions

Did you know that the number one mistake made by tax filers each year is the failure to write off deductions that they qualify for? By not being aware of what can be written off millions of people overpay their tax bills! This is especially true when it comes to people who work from home, so read up on what deductions you qualify for by regularly working from a home office.

Home Office Deductibles


Home offices apply to a home you own, home or apartment you rents, and any type of home.

It’s important to not that for your home office to qualify for deductions then it must meet a few standards. For example, the space must primarily be used to conduct business. This means that your spouse can’t use this space for crafts and your kids can’t use this area for computer games.

Now you can have an entire room for your office, or a part of the room, but make sure that the space has clear boundaries.

Also, you can use multiple rooms in your home office if you have a few employees or need the space to conduct business on a regular basis.

The space doesn’t have to be attached to your home, your office can be in a freestanding structure like a shed or garage, but again, the space must be used for business purposes only.

Your home office either needs to be the principal location of where you do your business or it must be the place where you regularly meet with clients. You can have other business locations.

If your home office is where you meet with clients then it has to include more than a few meetings a year. Be sure that you can prove that you regularly meet with clients there.

If you’re an employee and not a business owner you still may qualify for home office deductions. However, you must be able to prove that you regularly work from home and that working from home is for the convenience of your employer. Also, you can’t charge your employer rent or charge them any fees for the use of your home space.

Daycares operated out of your home don’t have to be used exclusively for business. Also, you may qualify for deductions if you use a portion of your home for storing inventory or records.

A few of the items that you can deduct include:


  • Mortgage or Rent
  • Utility bills (internet, energy, etc)
  • Repairs 
  • Depreciation 
  • Landscaping (If you regularly meet with clients at you home and need to maintain it’s appearance for business purposes) 
Generally to find out how much you can deduct for your home office you need to find out what percentage of your home is actually used for business. This is usually done by dividing the square footage of your office space by the total square footage of your home.

You aren’t granted the same deduction every year. You must qualify for and apply for home office deductions every year.

Also, like with anything tax related the IRS can audit you, so make sure your records are clear and up to date. To be safe you can include a photo of your home office to help prove that your home office is exclusively used for business. The IRS generally doesn’t audit for home offices as much as other deductibles, but the possibility is still there.

In case You Need More Time, Use ExpressExtensions


You might need a little longer to learn about what deductions you qualify for, if that's the case pop on over to ExpressExtenions to get an extension on your tax filing deadlines. Our dedicated support team is always available to answer any questions you may have about filing an extension via phone and email.
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2/02/2017

State Supported Extensions And Unique Tax Laws

Taxes is a word strong enough to cause headaches, confusion, and denial. Unless you’re an accountant they probably aren’t exciting, but they come back every year for you and your business to pay. Unfortunately, even if you’re a self-proclaimed tax expert, you have to remember that tax laws can change on a yearly basis, and each state has laws. Luckily ExpressExtension can help.

ExpressExtension


ExpressExtension will help you stay up to date with the most recent changes when it comes to filing business or personal income taxes.

Also, ExpressExtension knows that tax season can sneak up on you which is why they provide easy to fill out tax extension forms online, with step by step instructions on how to fill each for out.

This way you have a headache free way to get a tax extension in a matter of minutes. If your tax extension is rejected ExpressExtension will send you an email that lists why your form was rejected, with instructions on how to fix it. You can then resubmit your form as many times as your need.

Now since taxes vary by state ExpressExtension only can support business tax extensions for Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, and Florida. ExpressExtension also supports state extensions and personal tax extensions for Illinois, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Lucky states like Texas that don’t have an income tax don’t need to worry!

However, keep in mind that these extensions only extend your time to file your taxes, not to pay them. You still have to pay the tax due or your tentative tax by the deadline.

A tentative tax is a guess about how much money you owe. This tax is calculated before returns and tax credits are calculated so you may end up being refunded or owing more. Some people just use the amount of taxes they paid last year as their tentative tax.

Also, some extensions are automatic and some aren't. If your extension is automatic then you don’t need to submit a reason for your extension, it will automatically be accepted. If the extension is nonautomatic then you’ll have to provide the IRS with a valid reason for needing your extension that the IRS may or may not approved.

Whacky State Taxes


Since each of the 50 states are all unique and we’re pretty sure that people from Oregon act a lot different than the residents of Florida we have some odd state taxes for you!

Have you ever considered a pet to be a family member? Well in North Carolina they are because they’re taxed as dependents. North Carolina residents must pay an annual personal property tax of $10 per cat and dog if they’re spayed or neutered, and $75 per cat or dog that’s over 4 months old if they haven’t be spayed or neutered.

Watch out guys, Missouri has a bachelor tax. In 1821 Missouri wanted young men to be pressured to get married so they applied an annual $1 tax on all unmarried men between the ages of 21 to 50! This law was passed back in 1821 when a dollar was worth a lot more.

Watch your altitude, unless you’re traveling! If you’re in a hot air balloon that’s tethered to the ground then it’s subject to the amusement act. However, if your balloon isn’t tethered then it’s considered travel, and that’s free. So, if you want to save a little it’s time to literally cut ties.

South Carolina was you to get married too, and their approach is a little nicer than a $1 bachelor fee! If newly married couples take a 6-hour premarital course that’s taught by an active clergy member or premarital counselor then you and your boo could receive a joint $50 tax credit.

Blueberries are serious business, especially in Maine where they produce over 75 million pounds of blueberries a year and produce 99% of the wild blueberries in the US! Maine taxes 1.5 cents per pound of blueberries, and the money goes to the promotion and research for wild blueberries and the Wild Blueberry Association of North America to keep the wild blueberry industry alive.

ExpressExtension is Here to Help


If you have any questions regarding your tax extension forms please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team via phone or email. Our goal is to help you state up to date with the latest tax law changes for income and personal taxes and to help you quickly and easily file an extension if need be.
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